America and West Indies
March 1718, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1930

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196-215

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'America and West Indies: March 1718, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 30: 1717-1718 (1930), pp. 196-215. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=74037 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Contents

March 1718, 1-15

March 3.
Whitehall.
408. Same to Governor Hamilton. H.M. has been pleased to approve the Acts of St. Christophers to prevent the danger that may happen by fire and to impower the Surveyor etc., and an Act of Antegoa for constituting a Court of Chancery etc. (v. 30th Jan.) H.M. has thought fit to repeal an Act of Antegoa for establishing a Court of King's Bench etc. for the reasons contained in the Attorney-Genls. report (a copy whereof is here inclosed for your information) and that you may endeavour to get another Act passed if necessary, not liable to those objections. You will receive from the Agents of each Isld. the orders for the confirmation of the Acts abovementioned. But I doubt they will not pay the fees for the order of repeal; and therefore I send you inclosed a copy of the same attested by the Clerk of the Council. There is another Act passed at St. Christophers, 1712, for selling estates etc. upon which H.M. Attorney Genl. had given his opinion (v. C.S.P. 14th July, 1713) that it is not fit to be confirmed for several reasons. But as their Lordps. believe there may have been several transactions in pursuance of that Act, so that the repealing of it immediately might occasion several difficulties and disputes among the inhabitants of that Island, their Lordps. chuse rather to let it lie dormant till the Assembly have had an opportunity of passing a new Act not liable to the objections contained in the Attorney Genls. report here inclosed. They desire therefore this matter may be laid before the first Assembly at St. Christophers that they may consider the same and pass a new Act, otherways this will be repealed. Whereas it is necessary for their Lordps. in considering the general state of the Trade of this Kingdome to have accounts of the Trades of each particular country; and as they have accounts of what goods are sent from hence to the Maderas and Western Islands, so it is necessary their Lordps. should be informed of what returns are made from thence. But as the main of the exports from those Islands are to the Plantations in America, their Lordps. can get here no account of them, and tho' the naval Officers do sometimes give accts. of the entries of ships inwards yet it is in such a confused manner (sometimes expressing the quantities of goods in some ships and oftner omitting it) that it is impracticable to make a true state of that Trade. I am to desire you therefore to give immediate directions to the proper Officer to make out an account of the imports from the Maderas and Western Islands for 3 years last past and to send the same by the first opportunity. And for the future the Board desire you to take care to give them annual accts. of the said imports. I am further to desire of you a particular account of all grants of escheated estates made by you since your Governmt. whither they be temporary or perpetual specifying the no. of acres granted, what quit-rent, if any is reserved upon them with the name of the grantee and the reasons inducing you to make such grant. Their Lordps. lately writ to you themselves for a particular account of the grants made in the French part of St. Christophers. I am again to remind you of what their Lordships writ you the 4th Oct. last and what I repeated the 24th of the same month about transmitting the accounts of the Revenue and of the annual expences of the Islands under your Government, which you are required by your Instructions to transmit, and which their Lordps. do insist on having as soon as possible. I am likewise to remind you of what I writ you 24th Oct., relating to a Collection of the Laws of each Island, which is the more necessary at present, because their Lordps. intend to have all the Laws of each Government that are in force, printed. Their Lordps. being informed that the settlement at Crabb Island increases more and more, have ordered me to repeat to you the directions sent you 20th Jan., 1717/18, to discourage that settlemt. as much as possible you can; but you are to do this in such a manner as not to oblige those people to retire to St. Thomas or any foreign Plantation and their Lordps. expect from you a more particular account of the condition of the settlement at Crabb Island and of the methods you may think necessary to be taken for the suppressing it, in case these used by yourself should not prove effectual. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 233–237.]
March 3.
Whitehall.
409. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Sunderland. We beg leave to inform your Lordship, that it would be of great convenience to the King's service, that some one of H.M. Counsel learn'd in Law should be directed by particular appointment to attend the Law business relating to Trade and Plantations. For altho' we are already impowerd by our Commission to send for the Attorney or Solicitor General or any other of H.M. Counsel learned in the Law, and to consult them as occassion shall require, it has hitherto been ye custom to consult the Attorny and Solicitor only, and tho' we do not find any instance where either of them have neglected to give their attendance at this board, when thereunto required, notwithstanding the great weight of other business that must naturally lye upon them in the discharge of their duty to the King and to their clients, yet we cannot help thinking that our predecessors in regard to the value of these Gentlemen's time, have been very tender of troubling them except in matters of great importance, and indeed considering how many laws we do annually receive from the severall Plantations, and how many doubts do daily arise in points of law contained in the severall Memorials and Petitions referred to us, were we to require the attendance either of H.M. Attorney or Solicitor General, so often as occasion would seem to require it, we should leave them but very little leizure to bestow upon any other kind of business. We cannot therefore but believe, that ye proposall we now take the liberty to make your Lordship, would be equally for H.M. service, and for the ease of the Attorney and Sollictor Genll. to whom, after the appointment of some particular Counsel to attend our Board, we should have no occasion to apply ourselves but in cases of great importance. But there is still further reason for the proposall at this time and that is, that we are now going to collect, revise and dispose into proper order and methods the laws of the severall Plantations that they may be printed, which will be a work of great advantage to the publick, but will demand a good deal of applican. and require almost the constant attendance, of some one of H.M. Counsel learned in the Law. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 145–147.]
March 3.
Whitehall.
410. Same to the King. Representation upon William Byrd's petition, Feb. 2. Refer to correspondence on the question, the Attorney-General's opinion (Dec. 24, 1717), and their letter Jan. 29. Continue:—We are not yet inform'd whether the Council will not acquiesce in the aforesaid opinion of the Attorny General. We find that Mr. Byrd in his petition to your Majesty does not question the power itself which is lodg'd in the Governor by his Commission from your Majesty, as he had done in his memorial to us, but only desires it may be restrain'd. Upon which we must observe, that no complaint has been offer'd of any abuse that has been made of the said power; that the Govr. has always on such occasions chosen the majority of Judges out of the Council adding others to them, tho' the petitioner seems to insinuate as if the Counciler Judges of the General Court were entirely excluded. We beg leave farther to observe that this application does not come from, and in behalf of the people of the Colony, who might be most aggriev'd by any such power as Mr. Byrd wou'd represent this to be; But from those persons who wou'd engross the privilege of being sole Judges in all criminal causes, so that it seems rather a claim of power for themselves to the prejudice of your Majesty's prerogative. As there may be great inconveniences in confining the power entirely to the Council, and as the Governor will be answerable for any abuse he might make of such a power. We humbly offer that it may remain as it is at present by your Majts. Commissn. [C.O. 5, 1365. pp. 52–57.]
March 3.
St. John's.
411. Address of the Lt.-Governor, Council and Assembly of Antigua to the King. It is with great concern that we have seen a paragraph inserted in severall printed newspapers that H. E. Walter Hamilton our present Generall is superseded and it is with much greater astonishment that we are informed, it is industriously reported to be for disaffection to your Majesties Government etc. He has upon all occasions given undeniable proofs of his zeal and loyalty etc. Signed, Edw. Byam, Jno. Hamilton, Edward Warner, Natha. Crump, Jno. Frye, Archd. Cochran, John Gamble, Ashton Warner, Speaker, Geo. Thomas, John Lightfoot, Tho. Pigott, John King, Wm. Lavington, Jacob Morgon, Joshua Jones, (?) Bap. Looby, Giles Watkins, Richd. Cochran, Humphry Osborn, James Nisbitte, Isaac Horseford, Tho. Freeman, Jno. Gunthorpe, James Weatherill. Endorsed, In ye Lieut.-Governor's letter of March 3rd, 1717/18. 1 large p. [C.O. 152, 42. No. 111.]
March 3.
Antigua.
412. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations.Urge that Governor Hamilton may be continued in his government etc. as preceding and 12th, March q.v. Signed as preceding. Endorsed, Recd. 12th, Read 18th June, 1718. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 12. Nos. 88; and (duplicate) 89; and 153, 13. pp. 310–311.]
March 4.
Antigua.
413. Merchants, Traders, Planters and Inhabitants of Antigua to the Council of Trade and Plantations. During the two years of his administration Governor Hamilton has demonstrated the utmost regard for the honour of H.M., the ease of his people, the security of the colonys, and the prosperity of trade, in which latter he has in a most particular manner distinguished himself by encouraging and making easy in all respects the honest and fair Adventurer, and discountenancing all others etc. as 12th March. Signed, Merchants and Traders:—Edwd. Chester junr., Marmaduke Bacheler, Bartho. Sanderson, Wm. Dunbar, Christopher Scandrett, Jacob Thibou, P. Stoodlie, Jos. Adams, John Burke, Fran. Delap (?), John Boudinot, Rich. Denbow, Michael Arnald, Wm. Harrox, Wm. Hamilton, Tho. Turner, Jno. Otto Bayer, Bayer Otto Bayer, Hen. Osborn, John Tomlinison, Cæsar Rodeney, Hopefor Bendall, Cha. Hedges. Planters and Inhabitants:—Sa. Watkins, Geo. Lucas, John Eliot, James Gamble, Samll. Parry, John Haddon, Th. Oesterman, Geo. Forest, W. Hill, Edwd. Chester, Richard Oliver, John Bradeson, Jonas Langford, Dan. Mackinen, Edward Morgon, Jno. Booth, John Butler, John Langelier, Saml. Proctor, John Hoskins, Pat. West, Philip Darby, John Gamble Junr. Endorsed, Recd. 12th, Read 18th June, 1718. 2½ pp. [C.O. 152, 12. Nos. 90; and (duplicate, with a few additional signatures) 91; and 153, 13. pp. 311–313.]
March 3.
Whitehall.
414. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Encloses following. Continues:— The Council of Trade and Plantations have received a very particular and distinct account of the illegal proceedings of the New England men from Capt. Passenger, and are very well pleased with his endeavours to prevent it; and therefore they have added the last clause in these Instructions, and desire that the Lords of the Admiralty will please to inforce it, as far as it is practicable. Requests that Capt. Passenger may be put in mind of his account of the Fishery for last year, not yet received. Annexed,
414. i. Heads of Enquiry for the Commodore of the Newfoundland Convoy. As usual. Cf. C.S.P. 1705, No. 1032. i.
414. ii. Additional Instructions for Same. As May 9th, 1717, with addition of No. 17:— You will observe by the 5th and 6th Articles of these Additional Instructions the irregularities committed by the New England men, particularly their inticeing away great numbers of seamen, fishermen and others, especially after the departure of the convoys, which will more plainly appear by Commodore Passengers letters annexed. And therefore you are to endeavor as much as possible to oblige all the New England ships to sail at the same time, that you shall leave the land, and otherwise to restrain them as much as possible you can from the irregularities complained of by Capt. Passenger. [C.O. 195, 6. pp. 375–391.]
March 4.
Whitehall.
415. Mr. Popple to Governor Sir N. Lawes. Encloses Copy of Mr. Wood's letter of 20th Feb. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire that upon your arrival at Jamaica you'll make particular enquiry into this matter and let their Lordships have your thoughts thereupon as soon as may be. [C.O. 138, 16. p. 95.]
March 5.
Whitehall.
416. Circular letter from the Council of Trade and Plantations to the Governors on the Continent of America. The Commissioners of H.M. Customs have transmitted to us some complaints made to them of the badness of pitch and tar from the Plantations particularly that the tar is full of water and the pitch mixt with sand, durt and other matter to make it weighty, and upon enquiry, we find that there are several quantities of those commodities, wch. have been found not merchantable, and certificates for them have been refusd; we thought it necessary to send you this notice, that you may give the proper directions to all persons concernd in pitch and tar in your government, that they take care for the future, in manufacturing these commoditys, and that you may, if necessary, endeavour to get an act pass'd for that purpose. This abuse in the manufacture will bring a disrepute upon American pitch and tar, and no præmiums will be allowd for such as do not come over well conditiond and merchantable. [C.O. 324, 10. pp. 195, 196.]
March 6.417. Lord Guilford to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following. Signed, Guilford. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 10th March, 1717/18. 1 p. Enclosed,
417. i. Governor Hart to Lord Guilford. Maryland, 26th Oct., 1717. Acknowledges letter enclosing that of the Board of Trade 10th July, 1717, relating to illegal trade. Continues:—I immediately laid it before the Council, and demanded if they knew or had heard of any trade carryed on by the inhabitants of this Province, with the French settlements in America. The Councill were unanimous in saying, there was no such trade they knew of carryed on from Maryland, and I can assure yr. Lordship, I never heard of any etc. However I made a further enquiry from the Collectors, Navall Officers, and other Officers of the Customs etc., who answered that they neither knew, nor had hitherto suspected any such trade. The Councill agreed with my proposal for the issue of the enclosed Proclamation etc. Signed, Jo. Hart. 2 pp.
417. ii. Proclamation by the Governor of Maryland forbidding illegal trade between Maryland and the French Settlements in America in accordance with the Treaty of Peace and Neutrality etc. Annapolis, 13th Sept., 1717. Copy. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 717. Nos. 73, 73 i., ii.]
March 6.
Whitehall.
418. Mr. Popple to Mr. Cumming[s]. The Council of Trade and Plantations have considered what you write, 17th Sept., 1717, in relation to the wooll of New England, but at present have nothing to add to Mr. Attorney Genls. opinion thereupon, which you have already received; However upon this occasion there Lordps. think it will be of use to have answers to the following questions according to the best information you are able to get (i.) What quantity of wooll there may be annually produced in N. England (ii.) What quantity of it is exported, unwrought and to what place, (iii.) What quantity of it is made into manufactures in New England, what sorts of manufactures they are, and were consumed. They further desire that you would send them a sample of the wooll, and also of the different species of manufactures that are made up in that country, with the prices at which they are sold, I mean both the wool and the several manufactures. They likewise desire you would let them have your thoughts whether it would be worth while that the wooll of New England should be brought to this Kingdom, and in that case what incouragement would be either proper or necessary to promote the doing of it. Their Lordps. are well pleased with the account you have sent them of foreign goods imported into New England for three years and a half, but they wish you had specifyed the particular places from whence those species came, and therefore they desire you will do it for the future. [C.O. 5, 915. pp. 97, 98.]
March 6.
Whitehall.
419. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Shute. Acknowledge letters of 23rd July and 9th Nov. Continue:—You refer us in your last letter to Mr. Blaithwayt's Office, for an account of the Revenues in your Governments, which we had writ to you for (4th Aug.); We desire you will take notice that by H.M. Instructions, you are required to send constant and regular accounts of the Revenue in your Governments to us, as well as to the Auditor, and we shall expect them from you for the future. We take notice that eight pirates have been tryed, upon which we desire to know by virtue of what power those tryals have been; also you will do well to send us copies of the tryals as has been usually done. Repeat Instructions relating to manufacture of pitch and tar (No. 416), and for returns of imports from the Maderas and Western Islands (No. 408 etc.). Continue:—We send you here inclosed, the copy of a Meml. lately laid before us, concerning the progress the French have made in finding out and securing a passage from St. Lawrence on Canada River to their new settlement, called Louisiana, and down the River Mississippi in the Bay of Mexico; Whereupon we must desire you to inform yourself, as particularly as you can of the facts therein mentioned, and to acquaint us therewith as soon as possible and to give us your sentiments, what methods may be most proper to be taken for preventing the inconveniences to which H.M. Plantations on the Continent of America, and the Trade of this Kingdom may be subject by such a communication between the French settlements. [C.O. 5, 915. pp 99–102.]
March 7.
Whitehall.
420. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney General. Encloses deed of surrender by the Lords Proprietors of the Bahama Islands to be enrolled in Chancery etc. [C.O. 24, 1. p. 18.]
March 7.
Portsmouth.
421. Governor Sir N. Lawes to Mr. Popple. Acknowledges letter of March 4th. Continues:—My greatest objection against that Law is, that every body takes all opportunity to become what they call Reformado Officers, and all wise men who have been in any Office will make that Law a pretence, as I believe, they have done to become idle, and useless to the publick, because they get nothing by it, and thereby lay a great burthen, and much trouble, and charge upon a few, besides makeing it very difficult for a Governour to find proper persons quallified by this Law, otherwise very loyall to serve the King and Country. I hear by report, that several matters relating to the Government of Jamaica has been, since I left London, under the consideration of his Majtie in Council, and that 14 Acts of the Assembly were some of them approved, and the rest rejected by the King. I am also told, that 14 times £3 2s. 6d. is demanded at the Council Office, for the fees of those 14 Laws, and that Mr. March has a list of them given him not to do service, but to ruffle matters, keep up divisions, and rail at the Ministers; as I hear he, Harris, and others do for rejecting the Law that provides for the paying peoples passages and setting them free at Jamaica. I confess I could wish H.M. pleasure had been known at first, or that Law had lain suspended during its temporary end, because abundance of people have imbarked upon the faith of that Law and many are now aboard several ships at this time in the Downs bound to Jamaica, and if they must be sold for their passages when they come there, they will be apt to say they were betrayed, and no body hereafter will depend upon any such encouragement. It would be a favour to me, to be informed of my duty in this case what notice I am to take of those Laws passed, or rejected, without any notification from the Secretary of State, or any proper Office, or whether I am obliged to pay those fees for such Acts of State, and Government as I was not concerned in otherwise than a planter, or private man. I have been now confined more than three weeks to this dismall expensive place by contrary winds, and God knows how much longer I must be so, but I admire in all this time I have received no Instruction about the pirates; I am confident they will never be reduced by the same powers, and directions that have suffered them to rove so long, but that is what I am not answerable for, I wish no body had cause to complain, and that proper measures may be taken to keep those loose people in subjection, and obedience to the Law when they are subdued; for my part I shall willingly commit them to Providence; and never desire to be troubled with them in Jamaica. I beg you to present my most obedient service to their Lordships, and believe me, good Mr. Popple, for many reasons, and obligations I shall ever be, Sir, Your most humble servant etc. P.S. When you see my friend, and brother Governour Rogers, pray give him my service, the same to Mr. Bampfield. Signed, Nicholas Lawes. Addressed. 1½ pp. [C.O. 137, 12. No. 124; and (without concluding sentences) 138, 16. pp. 98–102.]
March 7.
Virginia.
422. Lt.-Governor Spotswood to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. In reply to letter of 30th Aug. gives an account of H.M. Revenues and the manner of auditing them. As to quit-rents, of 2s. sterl. reserved to the Crown upon every 100 acres granted by patent, that would yield nearly £3,000 a year, but that the Crown having so far indulged the planters as to accept tobacco at 1d. per lb. in lieu of money, it frequently happens, when that commodity is low, that the same tobacco paid to the King at 8s. 4d. a hundred yields no more than 3s. or or half a crown; and what through the remissness of the people in paying their rents, and the fraud or negligence of the officers collecting them, many thousands of acres are held for which no quit-rent at all is paid. There is also the 2lb. of tobacco per acre payable on new grants of escheated lands. The actual revenue from quit-rents might be considerably improved "if it were possible to perswade people that there is as much justice due to the King in the case of his quitt-rents, as every subject expects to receive in his own particular case": or were it possible for a Governor to obtain a due execution of any regulations he might propose for obtaining a true rent-roll. But after having struggled for seven years past to compass these ends, I have only learned that all measures projected for the service of the Crown, are against the grain, and serve to no other purpose than to gain a Governor the ill will of the people, while those who are bound to assist him in supporting the King's just rights, are more ready to promote disobedience to his orders, for the sake of popularity, than to merit the favour of their Sovereign, by doing their duty: Thus the people have been taught by the example, and doctrine of their superiors, not to discover the true quantity of the land they hold, by showing their patents or deeds to the officer collecting their rents: and notwithstanding the Act etc. which makes three years non-payment of quitt-rents a forfeiture of the land, the governing party of the Council, who are the judges of the General Court, and the last resort in all cases under £300 value, after having by their emissarys in Assembly tryed, in vain, to repeal that act, have declared their opinion to be that it shal effect no lands except such as have been granted since the passing thereof: whereby that act is rendered useless, which was solely designed to oblige the people to give up a just account of the lands they hold, without any intention of divesting the subject of his freehold for an inconsiderable penalty (as has been falsely suggested), seeing the Governor has it in his power to grant the land de novo to the person forfeiting the same. And so far are these Gentlemen from favouring the recovery of the King's rents, that in their directions (last November) to the Sherifs for collecting the arrears of quitt-rents, instead of ordering distress to be made, as every landlord has power to do, for his rent, the Sherifs were only enjoined to make a demand, and in case the tenant refused to pay to return upon the rent-roll the reason given for that refusal." Enumerates methods of improving the revenue without making a new law, e.g., by compelling the payment of quit-rents made in tobacco at certain fixed stations. But the present Council would prevent any such improvement. Another improvement would be to entrust the collection to permanent officers, instead of to the annual Sheriffs as at present, who act by deputies often of small means and indifferent characters. This method, however, is disliked on two very extraordinary grounds, (i.) because it would introduce a greater exactness than is consistent with the popular notions of liberty, (ii.) because it would creat too great a dependence of those officers on the Government, the power of which the present sett of politicians here are resolved by all means to lessen. The not keeping regular accounts of arrears of the quitt-rents has also lessened the revenue; during the time of the two late officers of the Revenue, such account has never been demanded till this last year. If the proposals made above were put in force, H.M. would rarely have less, and in general a great deal more for his tobacco, than the penny per pound at which it is paid by the people, and consequently would be no loser by the favour he allows them of paying tobacco in lieu of money. Enumerates the other branches of Revenue, the 2s. per hhd., tunage, and duty on persons imported, 5s. per 50 acres taken up etc. The improvement of this revenue must depend very little on any means to be taken there, but upon the price of tobacco as an inducement to planters. If H.M. would order the present deficiency to be made good out of the quit-rents, the Revenue would support all the charges of the Government hereafter, unless some such accident should again discourage planters from making tobacco, as when, during the late war, the price fell so low. To lessen the annual charges of the Revenue, proposes that no further allowance be given to the Judges of the Courts of Oyer and Terminer. It is to this mistaken generosity of the Crown, that the Council's pretensions of being the sole Judges in those Courts owe their birth, etc. Requests that the Instruction allowing £100 for each Court be altered. Refers to enclosures. Describes the reforms he has introduced in the method of keeping and auditing the accounts. The new regulations he has made with regard to the sale and accounts of Treasury rights (described), are shown to be necessary, since, upon calling in the old Treasury rights, some hundreds have been returned, more than have been accounted for by the Receivers-General. My Byrd and his father are the people concerned. Concludes:—"Tho' this method of keeping and auditing the accots. in books, be new, and occasions some more trouble to the Officers, I hope it will not be disapproved by yor. Lordps., since it makes these officers a greater check on one another, than they could possibly have been while one examined all the receipts, and the other swore to the truth thereof without being privy to such examination. P.S. April 26th. Having writt thus far of my former date expecting to have been furnished from the Receiver-Genll's. books with the state of the sevll. branches of H.M. Revenues for three years past in order to a medium computation of the income, I found there were no distinct accompts entered there, till Oct. 1716 (after the late Auditor's suspension) so that I was obliged to stop this letter till now, that I might at least send your Lordps. the state thereof for two years, wch. ends the 25th instant. As the first of these years proved a short crop, and the last a pretty good one, your Lordps. may from hence forme a judgment of what that Revenue may bring in, taking one year with another." Set out, Spotswood Papers II., 265. Signed, A. Spotswood. Endorsed, Recd. 8th July, Read 6th Aug., 1718. 9 pp. Enclosed,
422. i. (a) Annual produce of the Quitt Rents in Virginia, exclusive of the Northern Neck quitt rents, 1704–1717. 1704. 2,238, 143 acres=£1,841 1s. 6¾d. 1717. 2,216,881 acres =£2,240 16s. 7½d.
(b) Compositions for escheat land, 1716 =£14 15s. 2d.; 1717 =£8 18s. 9¼d.
(c) Established sallarys paid out of the Quitt Rents:—Bishop of London's Commissary, £100; AttorneyGeneral, additional sallary, £60; Coll. Blakiston, Agent for Virginia, additional sallary, £200; Henry Rainsford, an annuity for 31 years, £500. =£860. The whole endorsed as covering letter. 2 pp.
422. ii. (a) Annual produce of H.M. Revenue for the support of the Government of Virginia for two years ending 25th April, 1718. (i.) April, 1716–1717. 2s. per hhd., £2,258 14s.; 15d. per tun on ships trading here, £1,051 18s. 1½d.; 6d. per. poll on persons imported, £15, 6s. 6d. (ii.) April, 1717–1718. £3,403; £1,552 14s. 2d.; £38 6s. Total, after allowing 10 p.c. on the 2s. p. hhd. to the masters of ships, and 10 p.c. on the whole duties to the Collectors, and 5 p.c. to the Auditor and Receiver-General on the sum paid them by the Collectors, (£2, 038 18s. 9d.), £6,281 0s. 0½d.;
(b) Rights for land for the same time, £228 11s. 7¼d.; fines and forfeitures, £26 13s. 8d.
(c) Established sallarys paid out of preceding. The Governor, £2,000 per annum; The Council, £350; Auditor-General of the Plantations, £100; Agent of Virginia, £100; Attorney-Genll., £40; Clerk of the Council (sallary and office books etc.), £100; Armourer, £12; Gunner at James City, £10; Ministers attending the Genll. Courts, £10. Casual Payments: The Courts of Oyer and Terminer, held twice in a year, £200; Ministers who preach before the Genll. Assembly when call'd, £5; Contingent charges for expresses about Indians, transport of stores etc., £100. Total, £3,027. The whole endorsed as preceding. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1318. Nos. 47, 47 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1365. pp. 64–81.]
March 8.
Carolina.
423. Committee of the Assembly of Carolina to Mr. Boone. We being by the House of Commons appointed a Committee to write to you, and enclose an Address to H.M. for relieving this poor Colony which at present seems to be in more danger by reason of our enemy Indians, than it has been this war. We are to acquaint you the reasons of our belief which are (i.) Some months before Christmas last we send Colo. Hastens, Cap. Musgrove and 8 persons more up to the Southern Indians then at war with us with proposals of peace, after some time Musgrove came down and brought a few of the Creek Indians to make peace with us, in the mean time Hastens and three or four white men besides women and children was left amongst the enemy Indians as a pledge of the safe return of their people, and when Musgrove left Hastens, he engaged if alive to write to ye Savana Town by Christmas, but to this day no news from him. (ii.) We have advice pr. Capt. Watson that came lately from Augustine and by another vessel, that the enemy Indians brought the Spaniards word, they had killed Hastens and nine white people more. (iii.) A white man that came from Lavre de Cruiz gives us account that several of our enemy Indians have been there and convey'd from thence to the Vice-Roy of Mexico in order no doubt to shew them their grandeur, that they may dispise us, they have also been carry'd to the Havana, doubtless on the same account, at both places treated at a very high rate. (iv.) We have had no late news either from the Cherachees or Cuttabas which have entred into articles of Peace with this Governmt. which induceth us to believe, that the whole body of Indians all round us are plotted against us encouraged by the French and Spaniards which we have good reason to believe, having affidavits of several persons that have been amongst our enemy Indians and had account what encouragemt. the French and Spaniards gave them still to continue the war. We refer you to those affidavits sent to the Lords Proprietors by the late Governor Daniel and Council etc. (v.) Several servants of the rebells are run from their masters to Augustine and notwithstanding this Governmt. has made a demand of them, the Governmt. of Augustine detains them alledging they are turned Christians, and cannot deliver them, without the King's order, they likewise receive all our slaves they can get on any account, and refuse to deliver them tho' demanded by this Government. We need not acquaint the Government at home, how the French increase at Moble, and now have built garrisons amongst our Creek Indians, by what is now writ in haste you and all impartial men may judge of our circumstance which we assure you most people here take to be worse than ever and we are well assured as soon as the Governor of Providence arrives to-his Governmt. many people will leave this Governmt. and go there for Peace, and the saving of taxes, for this handfull of people in this Governmt. is to pay in two days time £47,000, for our keeping so many garrisons on our frontiers will certainly ruin us if not quickly relieved. We are well assured if our Gracious Sovereign had a true information what a miserable condition his poor subjects are in in this Governmt. he would relieve us immediately. We doubt not of your prudent management of this affair, etc. Signed, pr. order of the Assembly, Ja. Cockran, Jonth. Drake. Endorsed, Recd., Read 6th May, 1718. 3½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 99.]
March 10.
Whitehall.
424. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney General. Encloses copies of the Memorial of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina (v. 9th Feb.), and of a lease and release from them to Sir R. Montgomery (v. 18th and 19th June, 1717) and the Charter of Carolina, "which you will find in ye inclosed book, which book and papers, I am to desire you will return me with your opinion if there be anything contained in the said lease or release, that may be prejudicial to the right of the Crown." [C.O. 5, 1293. p. 138.]
March 10.
St.Christopher's
425. Extract of letter from Mr. Burchal to Mr. Cunyngham. The General went as far as Crab Island and gave Capt. Howel a Commission to be Captain Commandant to protect the new Settlement, which is since broke up by the Spaniards and many of our people knocked on the head. We have not an exact no. the survivors are made prisoners. Endorsed, Recd. 20th, Read 23rd May, 1718. ½ p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 84; and 153, 13. p. 295.]
March 10.
Whitehall.
426. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Addison. Enclose for his information copy of letter from Col. Heywood, 21st Dec., 1717, relating to the increase of pirates. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
426. i. Copy of No. 271. [C.O. 137, 46. Nos. 30, 34; and (without enclosure) 138, 16. p. 97.]
March 10.
Whitehall.
427. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Encloses copy of letter from Mr. Heywood (v. preceding). [C.O. 138, 16. p. 98.]
[March 11.]428. Mr. Dummer to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have by the last ships from New England receiv'd a complaint from the Lieut. Governour, the Council and Representatives of New Hampshire that Mr. Bridger at his arrival there has strictly forbid all persons whatsoever to go into the woods, and to cut any sort of timber thô it neither is, nor can be fit for H.M. service. Whereupon the Assembly have desir'd me humbly to represent the matter to your Lordpps. as a great grievance and damage to all H.M. good subjects in that Province, and pray that your Lordpps. will be pleas'd to redress the same. Signed, Jer. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd. Read 11th March, 1717/18. Subscribed, Jer. Dummer, Agent for N. Hampshire, appointed by Act of Assembly. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 142; and 5, 915. p. 104.]
March 11.
Whitehall.
429. Mr. Popple to Mr. Bridger. Reply to 30th Dec., 1717. The Council of Trade and Plantations are very sorry for the destruction which you mention to have been made in some parts of H.M. woods, but hope those abuses may be prevented for the future by your care and vigilance in the discharge of your duty, wch. will always recommend you to the favour of the Board. In relation to the Deputies you have appointed and the allowance you desired for them. I am to observe to you that you cannot but remember the difficulties which the settlement of a salary for yourself met with; and therefore may judge how little likelihood there is of obtaining any such allowance for these Deptys. at present: When the survey you are upon is perfected, and it may fully appear what service the said Deputies have done, they may hope for rewards suitable to their services and expect the proper recommendations from this Board in their behalf. As soon as their Lordps. have notice from the Governor of New Hampshire of the vacancies you say there are in the Council, their Lordps. have agreed to recommend you for supplying one of those vacancies. [C.O. 5, 915. pp. 102, 103.]
March 11.
Whitehall.
430. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Encloses extract from Governor Hamilton's letter, 6th Jan., as to need of a larger man of war etc., to be laid before the Lords Commrs. of the Admiralty. [C.O. 153, 13. p. 250.]
March 11.
Whitehall.
431. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Addison. Enclose above extract to be laid before H.M. [C.O. 153, 13. p. 251.]
March 12.
Whitehall.
432. Same to Same. Refer to letter of Sept. 26, 1717, representing that in the grants of land petitioned for by Sir A. Cairnes etc. the fishing on the seas within the district to be granted should be left free to all H.M. subjects. Continue:—We are further confirmed in the necessity of such a condition because we have good reason to believe the seas on those coasts is more profitable for fishing than in any other parts of H.M. American Dominions: But least a pretence should be taken to restrain this liberty barely to ye fishing on the seas, without allowing ye fishermen liberty of curing their fish along the coast, we think it proper to observe that if H.M. shall think fit to grant the land pray'd for, it will be necessary there be a clause in the patent allowing to all H.M. subjects the liberty of building stages and curing fish on the coast without being liable to any impositions upon that account. Propose that orders be given to H.M. Attorney or Solicitor-General to attend the Board to receive such directions as may be thought necessary before they prepare a bill for this grant etc. [C.O. 218, 1. pp. 340, 341.]
[March 12.]433. Copy of General Nicholson's Commission and Instrutions for the reduction of Port Royal, 18th March, 1710. Endorsed, Recd., Read 12th March, 1717/18. 2¼ pp. [C.O. 217, 2. Nos. 40–42.]
[March 12.]434. Copy of pass from M. Subercase to Major Richard Mullins and Charles Brown etc. 23rd Oct., 1710. q.v. Endorsed, Recd., Read 12th March, 1717/18. French. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 2. No. 43.]
March 12.435. Mr. Attorney General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have no objection to the Act of Antigua for encouraging the importation of white servants (v. 10th Feb.) Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd April, Read 2nd May, 1718. ¾ p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 79; and 153, 13. p. 286.]
March 12.436. Same to Same. Report upon Act of New York, 1710, for the better settlement and assuring of lands etc. Provisions quoted. Concludes:—It seems pritty extraordinary that the Govr. of New York should now propose the repealing of that bill which pass't in 1710 and in 1713 many titles of the possessors were establish't thereby, and who may have sold to purchasers under the security of that Act, by the repealing of which they may now want the titles upon which they purchased. On which I cannot but observe the great inconveniencys which may happen by suffering the Plantation Laws to remain so long not confirmed or repealed, and therefore it will be difficult to repeal this law now, whereby so great a prejudice may ensue to such purchasers, unless some provision be first made for them. As to the Bill I think it is improper to put H.M. and his subjects in the same condition as to their being barred by possession, but if H.M. for the quiet of the publick be content with the same, I have no objection to that part of the Bill. And as to the making copys of deeds registred to be as good evidence, as the originals, it is no more than what is in England, in case of bargains and sales enrolled, and I have no objection agt. any other parts of the said bill. Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 9th April, 1718. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1051. No. 64; and 5, 1124. pp. 16–19.]
March 12.437. Same to Same, I have no objection to either of the Acts of Jamaica (v. Jan. 8th, 1718). Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd April, Read 21st May, 1718. ½ p. [C.O. 137, 13. No. 7; and 138, 16. p. 112.]
March 12.
Nevis.
438. Council and Assembly of Nevis to the Council of Trade and Plantations. We have been greatly surprised to hear of a paragraph inserted in some newspapers importing, that his Majestie had been pleased to appoint Col. Purcell to be Chief Governour of the Leeward Islands, in the room of Walter Hamilton Esq., and we are informed, that it has been industriously spread abroad, that it was for disaffection to H.M. Government, etc. Represent the falsity of this charge and their own apprehension at his recall. They have enjoyed much happiness and tranquility under his administration, and recall his brave and free hazarding his life in defence of the Protestant cause, at the time of the Revolution etc. Testify to his loyalty etc. His conduct has been prudent, mild, impartial and just etc. His whole administration has been universally pleasing to all unbiased, unprejudiced, and honest men etc. Pray their Lordships to support and continue him in the Government. Signed, Richd. Abbott, John Pinney, Jas. Bevon, Aza. Pinney. John Richardson, Robrt. Eleis, Michll. Smith, Jno. Choppin, Rog. Pemberton, Speaker, Saml. Gardner, Ja. Symonds, Rich. Brodbelt, Joseph Herbert, John Smith, John Woodley, Thos. Wallwin junr., Jeremiah Browne, Geo. Meriwether. Endorsed, Recd. Read 10th June, 1718. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 85; and 153, 13. pp. 296, 297.]
March 12.439. Address of the President and Council, and Assembly of Nevis to the King. In favour of Governor Walter Hamilton as March 3rd. Signed, Richd. Abbott. Jas. Bevon, Aza. Pinney, Robt. Eleis, John Richardson, Mich. Smith, Jno. Choppin, John Pinney, Roger Pemberton, Speaker, Ja. Symonds, Richd. Brodbelt, John Smith, John Woodley, Joseph Herbert, Samll. Gardner, Geo. Meriwether, Jeremiah Browne, Carew Brodbelt, Thos. Wallwin junr. 1 large p. [C.O. 152, 42. No. 112.]
March 12.
Admty. Office.
440. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. The Heads of Enquiry etc. (v. 3rd March) are sent to Capt. Scott etc. The last article of the Instructions is particularly recommended to him. When Capt. Passenger returns, he will doubtless send to the Lords Comnrs. for Trade an account of the Fishery at Newfoundland. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 12th, Read 13th March, 1717/18. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 6. No. 43; and 195, 6. p. 392.]
March 15.
St. Christophers.
441. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having been lately advised by my friends in England that a petition and complaint has been exhibited against me before your Lordships by one Christopher Stoddart representing some hardships by me done to the petitioner in granting a plantation whereof he was possessed in the French part of the Island of St. Christophers to Mr. Milliken and that I had caused him and his family to be turned violently out of his possession and exposed to great want I thought it my duty by the earliest oppertunity I could to lay before your Lordships a true account and state of the matter etc. The rule which I have set to myself etc. in discharging the trust reposed in me by H.M. of disposing of the lands in the late French part of that Island till H.M. final pleasure was known therein has been to grant the same to such people as were best able to advance H.M. Revenue by making powerfull and effectual settlements thereon, and had by their services during the last war deserved best of their King and Country, not without a due regard (I think) to the poorer sort whom I never denied such tracts of land as they were able to manure in places most convenient for them, which I have always thought to be those nearest the sea; where being seated they are best able to contribute most to the strength and safety of the Island as also with more ease to succour and maintain their families by the conveniency of fishing if they are minded and I never receiv'd any consideration or made any advantage to myself from any persons thereby etc. This plantation which I have granted to Mr. Milliken contains about 200 acres of land and was in 1711 by General Douglass granted to one Thomas Mitchell formerly a Commander of one of H.M. ships of war and by him possessed till his death in 1714. Captain Mitchell some little time before his death entered into an agreement with this Stoddart to plant the same in partnership with him as your Lordships will find by the agreement (Copy enclosed) intended between them tho' never executed, by which agreement your Lordships will observe how little Mr. Stoddart was able to settle such a Plantation, the whole number of negroes furnished by both of them being but twenty and his part but ten. Capt. Mitchell dying some time in 1714, Stoddart remained in possession of the said plantation till I arrived, but without any grant from Governour Smith who commanded in chief when Mitchell died, or from Lt.-General Mathew who succeeded him, tho I am informed he applied to both of them for a grant and they both denied him. The said plantation being undisposed of when I arrived I thought I might grant the same to anybody without doing any injustice to Mr. Stoddart who had not any pretence of title to it nor had he at that time made anything of a settlement or much improvement of his own thereon having not been concern'd with Capt. Mitchell in improving the same above a year, and therefore I did upon the application of Major James Milliken grant the same unto him, but withall gave particular directions to him that he should suffer Mr. Stoddart to reap the benefitt of his crop then in the ground and of whatever improvements he had made which Mr. Stoddart has done to the full. If he has suggested in his petition that I by any arbitrary power of my own caused him to be turned out of his possession, he has suggested to your Lordships what is not true; for after I had given Major Milliken a grant for the said plantation I concerned myself no further in it but left Major Milliken (Mr. Stoddart forcibly continuing his possession notwithstanding my grant) to pursue his legal remedy; who thereupon brought an ejectment against him in the Courts of Common Law here and recovered not the possession thereof till August last. Refers to enclosure. Continues:— What improvements Mr. Stoddart has made upon this plantation which is but very small he never having manured above 30 acres in the whole (but that in the heart of the Plantation and the best part of the land, and without which Major Milliken can't carry on his settlement without great prejudice) he has made chiefly since my grant; and therefore I would submit it to your Lordships whether a man thus obstinately settling without any manner of title and in open opposition to the power given by H.M. to his Chief Governours here, has any colour to complain of any hardship done him, if he were to loose the benefitt of it and receive no further than what the Law allows him, but nevertheless I do assure your Lordships that Major Milliken has not taken that advantage but has upon my request been so very tender to him as to let him receive the produce of whatever canes he has planted even since my grant to him, and that Mr. Stoddart's wife is at this time by his leave grinding of the canes for her own use, which her husband planted long after my grant tho he has withstood him as long as he could and put him to the trouble and expence of a lawsuit etc. Had Mr. Stoddard applied to me to grant him this plantation (which he did not) I think I could not in reason have refused it to Mr. Milliken. Mr. Stoddart in the first place has done nothing to deserve it but on the contrary during the late war when he had the command of a Militia company and the Island was invaded by the enemy, he shamefully deserted his command and flew to the mountains, and there remained till the enemy was gone on the other hand Major Milliken has always during my knowledge of him behaved himself very well upon every command and did voluntarily upon the breaking out of the late war in 1702 leave his family and habitation in Nevis to come down and assist in the taking of the French part of St. Christophers. And besides Mr. Stoddart is a man of but mean circumstances and not able to settle such a plantation as this, having but 10 negroes to bring upon it etc., Whereas Major Milliken is able to settle it effectually and has brought on above 74 negroes, and will thereby bring more advantage to H.M. Revenue besides adding more strength to the Island by the number of his white servants, and has not any other plantation in these Islands etc. If Mr. Stoddart had applied to me for any vacant peice of land in a proper part of the Island that was suitable to his condition I should not have denied him, having always done whatever in me lay to encourage the poorer sort to settle, knowing how much they contribute to the strength of an Island, but this I thought was a plantation too large for him to expect or me to grant him etc. If there be any other charges in this petition not answered herein, prays for a copy of it, etc. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 12th, Read 18th June, 1718. 3 large pp. Enclosed,
441. i. Deposition of James Milliken. St. Christophers, 14th March, 1718. By an agreement with Christopher Stoddart, deponent received ⅓rd of the produce of the canes planted by him on the plantation of 200 acres granted to deponent 8th May, 1716, deponent finding negroes and horses to cut and grind them. Thereafter however Stoddart left for England and his wife refused to quit possession of said plantation, till compelled by process of law. Her obstruction caused deponent to lose 20,000 lb. of sugar. He has notwithstanding permitted her to cut and grind the rattoones springing from the canes Stoddart had cut last year etc. Signed, James Milliken. Copy. 3 pp.
441. ii. Agreement concluded between James Milliken and Christopher Stoddard. St. Christophers, Dec.[? 1716]. v. preceding. Copy. ¾ p.
441. iii. Agreement concluded between Christopher Stoddart and Capt. Thomas Mitchell,. St. Christophers, Sept., 1714. Deed of partnership for developing plantation in Basse Terre. Each partner is to provide 10 negroes, 3 horses and 3 cart cattle etc. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. Nos. 86, 86 i.–iii.; and (without enclosures) 153, 13. pp. 298–305.]
March 15.
St. Christophers.
442. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Begins with duplicate of 8th Feb. Continues:— I have in obedience to H.M. commands and your Lordships' directions (4th Oct., 1717), recommended to the Council and Assembly of Antigua to prepare a particular account of all the charges of the Government etc. A Committee of both houses is appointed for stating the same, which is the usual practice of these H.M. Islands for auditing all accounts. As soon as that is finished I shall strive to have the same done in the other three Islands and then transmit them home by first opertunitys. I am now to acquaint your Lordships that what I always dreaded is come to pass, for that on the 10 of February last the Spaniards with one man of war and six sloops came to Crabb Island, sent on shoar to demand them to surrender the Island to the King of Spain, what answer Captain Howell (whom I formerly mentioned to your Lordships) made I cannot inform you, he being carried away by them, but they immediately after landed, have killed severalls of our men and taken others with their wives and children with upwards of 50 negroes and carried them all to Porto Rico, the rest saved themselves by flight to the Windward part of the Island and were taken off by small sloops that accidentally were coming down there, and were carried to Anguilla and Spanish Town and it's said they design to carry all they took to Mexico; They took all the sloops they found upon that coast as well as they do others in the open sea. I humbly beg your Lordships to lay this before H.M. that I may have as soon as possible H.M. commands and your Lordships' directions how to act in this affair; in the mean time I design to make a demand of them, as well as of the sloops and negroes by the Scarborough man of war on the Barbados station, who has orders from the Admiralty Board to go down there to make a demand for a ship seized in the time of the cessation of armes, and shall inform your Lordships the particulars from time to time as they occur to my knowledge. The poor people of Anguilla, Spanish Town and Tortola are still very pressing to remove to the Island of Santa Crois or St. Cruis, but I have desired them to have patience till I shall receive H.M. commands, and your Lordships directions, which I beg may be soon for otherwise it will be impossible to keep those poor people together, indeed they are almost famished for want of food, for such a long spell of dry weather has not been known in the memory of man. Had half the former French land in St. Christophers been given gratis to those poor people I am very well satisfied it would have in a few years turned to a greater advantage in raising the Revenue of the Crown than now it will by the sale, and would have been the strengthning of all the Islands, but as they are now dispersed they are so many lost, but I must submit all to your Lordships more discerning judgement. I have so often troubled your Lordships with representing that the man of war on this station was of little or no service whereupon your Lordships letter to the Admiralty Board the Tryal sloop was ordered for this station to reinforce the Seaford, which sloop did not arrive from Jamaica to this Government till the 15th of last month, and before she stirred out of the harbour of Antigua she received orders for her returning forthwith for Great Brittain. So that we are again as defenceless as before, should any pirates infest this coast, which I must also leave to your Lordships' consideration etc. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 12th, Read 18th June, 1718. 3 large pp. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 87; and 153, 13. pp. 305–308.]
March 15/26
Essequebe, opt Huys Naby.
443. Commandant Vanderheyden Rézen to the Directors of the Dutch West India Company. Signed, Pr. Vanderheyden Rézen. Endorsed, Read, 28th April, (N.S.) 1718.Dutch. 15½ pp. Enclosed,
443. i. Lists of requirements, inventories of slaves and goods, clearances of vessels. Dutch. [C.O. 116, 21. Nos. 156 ff.]
March 15/26
Essequebe, opt Huys Naby.
444. Same to Same. Signed, Pr. Van der Heyden Rézen. Endorsed, Read 18th (N.S.) July, 1718. Dutch. 11½ pp. [C.O. 116, 21. No. 157.]